IL- TIMES OF TROUBLE
FROM HITLER TO THE
... At the signing of the Soviet-Japan Pact... in the Kremlin ...
Raising his glass (to toast the new friendship) Stalin shouted :
" Banzai for His Majesty, the Emperor/* and declared that a diplomatic
relation, once pledged, is unchangeable, however much ideologies may differ,
Matsuoka toasted Stalin, and said:
" The Treaty had been made. I do not lie. If I lie, my head shall be
yours. If you lie, be sure I will come for your head."
Stalin seemed embarrassed. Then he replied : " My head is important
to my country. So is yours to your country. Let's take care to keep both
our heads on our shoulders.9*
At the station, Stalin tapped Matsuoka on the shoulder and said : " The
European problem can be solved in a natural way if Japan and the Soviets
" Not only the European problem/' Matsuoka answered, "Asia also can
be solved." " The whole world can be settled," said Stalin,
(Tolishuss, Otto, Tokyo Record^ p. 107, April 22, 1941).
Thus, between two Imperialist Powers was concluded the most im-
portant Pact (at least in their opinion) of the twentieth century. They
had both converted their States into a war machine in order to attempt
a conquest, the parallel of which has never been known in world history.
The context of their mutual pact was briefly summarised in these two
sentences of the partners. " The European problem can be solved...
the Asiatic problem can be solved... if Japan and the Soviets co-operate."
It could only mean—Europe for Russia!... Pacific for Japan!
If in the nineteenth century the Russians had been in some doubt as
to whether or not their fate lay in Europe or Asia (there had been two
schools of thought on this question), now, in the spring of 1941, they
proclaimed that the future of Asiatic Russia, whose borders sink in the
Arctic and Pacific Oceans to rise in the heights of Tian Schan and Pamir,
lay in Europe. By the Pact of April, 1941, the partners believed that a
basis for the commencement of a new phase in world history had been
stabilised. Japan was given a free hand to attack the conquests of the
* white mqn ' on the Pacific. Russia could now plan an action in Europe
on a scale never before known and which might, in fact, be compared, if
indeed such a comparison be possible, to the Mongol invasion, which had
resulted in the creation of the great continental Empire embracing Asia
from the Pacific, and China as far as the border of Poland in Europe.